The magical run for Leylah Annie Fernandez of Montreal, Quebec at the 2021 United States Open just got sweeter. On Thursday, Fernandez became the fourth Canadian ever to reach a grand slam singles final when she beat the second seed, Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.
Fernandez joins Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal (2014 Wimbledon), Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ontario (2016 Wimbledon), and Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ontario (2019 United States Open). Of the three prior Canadian finalists at a grand slam, only Andreescu was victorious, as she beat Serena Williams of the United States 6-3, 7-5.
In Fernandez’s win over Sabalenka, the reason why Fernandez reached the final came down to unforced errors. Fernandez only had 23 unforced errors, while Sabalenka had a staggering total of 52.
Fernandez will play rising British star Emma Raducanu in the final on Saturday afternoon. Raducanu upset the 17th-seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 6-4 in the other semifinal. Fernandez is ranked 73rd in the world, and Raducanu is ranked 150th.
On Friday, there could be a fifth Canadian all-time in a grand slam final. That is when Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal will play his men’s semifinal against Daniil Medvedev of Russia. The other semifinal has Novak Djokovic of Serbia against Alexander Zverev of Germany. Two wins by Djokovic and he wins all four grand slam titles in men’s singles tennis in 2021.